IGD highlights key areas of food and grocery shopper demand in summer

Date : 21 July 2017

As schools break up for the summer, research from IGD reveals the difference in shoppers’ traditional shopping behaviours as they make changes to accommodate their children being home during the day. With the majority of shoppers with children (60%) claiming they change their shopping habits during the summer months, IGD highlights areas for the food and grocery industry to be aware of to ensure they are meeting demand during this period.

Indeed, whether it’s opting for the big weekly shop to avoid going in-store frequently with their children (26%), or doing smaller top-up shops to restock supplies that run out faster (26%), the summer holiday period will see a focus on food and grocery from shoppers looking to stay organised around the anticipated changes in routine. Saving money also comes across as a priority, with 22% of parent shoppers saying they stock up the freezer to help spread the cost of grocery shopping during the summer.

Vanessa Henry, Shopper Insight Manager at IGD, said: “Families’ routines can be disrupted by the school holidays with play dates, sports and other children’s activities, which means shoppers aren’t always as organised as during term time. There are also more meals and snacks to cater for as a lot of children will be at home over these weeks - the fridge might need filling up on a more frequent basis with more mouths to feed. 
“For the industry, it’s important that retailers and suppliers can respond to the needs of different shoppers over these holidays to make the shopping process easier for busy parents. With parents looking to keep children entertained during the holidays, convenient pack formats and on-the-go food and drink solutions are increasingly relevant. Family recipe ideas, quick and easy lunch solutions and larger pack sizes are likely to appeal to mums stocking up for the holidays.”

As well as the openness to a change of routine, shoppers have also expressed an interest in an alteration of diet. Indeed, nearly half (47%) of shoppers say they tend to eat healthier foods during the summer months.

IGD’s research also highlights an element of flexibility and willingness to try new things from shoppers trying to navigate the changes in routine the summer period brings with it. Over a third (34%) of shoppers with children say they try to be more organised about their food and grocery shopping during the summer months but admit it can be difficult as their plans change due to the weather. Indeed, highlighting the effect of the good weather on the food and grocery market, over three in ten (31%) shoppers say they spend more on food and groceries for picnics during the summer months than any other time of year and over a third (34%) of shoppers say they change their meal plans last minute to a BBQ if the weather is good.

Henry adds: “A lot of these changes to plans can be due to the weather – if the weather is good, some shoppers choose to change their meal plans to make the most of the weather. Some shoppers’ best laid plans to cook certain meals they had planned for the week might change as people decide to have a BBQ or eat alfresco and picnic at the last minute. When it comes to the weather shoppers can be very versatile and willing to change up their regular purchases for food that can be eaten outside or with groups of people.

“Retailers who are as adaptable as the weather will come out on top for summer food sales - BBQ, picnic, fresh and lighter foods should be prioritised and retailers prepared to adapt to help shoppers make their last-minute food plans a success. It’s important that retailers can be flexible and respond quickly to these changes shoppers might make for their meal plans. Availability and visibility of key categories is vital to ensure those on a top-up shop or trip for their evening meal can quickly find what they are looking for, to prevent them going elsewhere.”

Notes to editors:

  1. IGD is a research and training charity. Our in-depth understanding of shoppers, retailing and supply chains is supported by our knowledge of broader topics affecting the industry – health, nutrition, sustainability and economics among them. This endows us with unparalleled insight that can help identify opportunities to improve performance and tackle business challenges. Our reach is global, with experts based in the UK, Singapore and North America. We invest the net income we make from selling our expertise back into our charitable activities
  2. IGD ShopperVista surveyed 1,723 British grocery shoppers between 1st and 30th September 2016

For more information contact:
Alexandra Crisp on:
[email protected] or (+44) 1923 851 924